CAN I SUE A BUSINESS IF I WAS HURT ON THEIR PROPERTY?
Nov. 9, 2021
People who get injured on someone else’s property wonder if they can sue the owner of the property. If the injury occurred on private commercial property, the injured party might be able to pursue a premises liability claim against the business.
Injuries on commercial properties occur for different reasons, including slips, trips, falls, and incidents caused by negligent security. A visitor can sustain injuries because of any dangerous condition that may exist on someone else’s property.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries on commercial property, consider speaking with a premises liability attorney to determine whether or not you are entitled to compensation. As an experienced premises liability lawyer in Houston, Texas, I can review your particular situation to determine liability in your case and help you pursue the compensation you deserve. At The Fostel Law Firm, I represent clients throughout Texas and the Southeast New Mexico area, as well as nationwide.
Texas Business Liability & Slip-and-Falls
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slip and falls accidents result in more than 1 million emergency room (ER) visits across the United States every year.
Under Texas premises liability law, business owners have a legal duty to keep their commercial property reasonably safe for customers and visitors. While the legal theory of premises liability makes business property owners responsible for the safety of their visitors, businesses are not automatically liable for all injuries and accidents that occur on their property.
A person who suffers injuries in a slip and fall accident must demonstrate evidence proving that the business property owner was negligent in some way. Under personal injury law, an injured party can establish negligence if they can show that the other party failed to act in a careful and reasonable manner.
In slip and fall and other types of premises liability cases, in general, the injured visitor needs to prove that:
There was a dangerous condition on the commercial property;
The condition created an unreasonable risk of harm and was not open and obvious; and
The business property owner knew or should have known about the unsafe condition but failed to remedy it.
In fact, under the attractive nuisance doctrine in Texas, property owners and businesses can be held liable for injuries suffered by trespassers if the victim was a child. The term “attractive nuisance” applies to any object or condition on the property that is likely to attract children and threaten them with harm. Common examples of attractive nuisance include swimming pools, fountains, trampolines, and other conditions.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Filing a personal injury claim after sustaining an injury on commercial property requires knowledge of the law in Texas. Specifically, you need to understand the statute of limitations and comparative negligence laws.
Statute of limitations in Texas: This is the time limit imposed on your right to file a civil lawsuit against the negligent party. In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims stemming from slip and fall and other accidents is two years from the date of the injury.
Comparative negligence: Texas adopted the doctrine of modified comparative negligence, which is also referred to as “proportionate responsibility.” Under the doctrine, an injured party’s own level of fault may reduce the amount of the damages awarded in their personal injury case.
Situations in Which the Business Might Not Be at Fault
Business property owners are not automatically liable for all accidents that occur on their premises. In fact, there are specific situations in which an injured party may not be able to sue the business for their injury:
You were trespassing (unless the attractive nuisance doctrine applies);
Your accident occurred on the part of the property where you were not allowed or expected to be;
You were not paying attention to your surroundings when the accident occurred;
You were wearing inappropriate footwear;
You ignored signs of a hazard on the property; or
The dangerous condition that caused your injury was an open and obvious hazard.
A business might not be held at fault for injuries if the owner took reasonable steps to protect visitors.
Work With an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you suffered injuries on business property, you might have a right to obtain compensation for your resulting losses and damages, including medical bills, loss of income, and many more. Reach out to a knowledgeable attorney to launch an investigation into your accident and pursue the compensation you and your loved ones deserve.
As a dedicated personal injury attorney in Houston and serving clients nationwide, I understand what it takes to pursue a successful premises liability claim. At The Fostel Law Firm, I represent victims of slip and fall & trip and fall accidents and injuries stemming from negligent security on commercial properties. No matter how you’ve been hurt, set up a consultation with me to start moving forward.